The Board of Trustees is a powerful and talented body dedicated to the service and stewardship of Sierra Nevada College. For a college of its size, the SNC Board is unparalleled in its depth of experience, philanthropy, and worldly success.
Board of Trustees
Chairman of the Board
- Dr. Atam Lalchandani
- Wayne Prim
Vice-Chair of the Board
- Elbridge Stuart
- Dr. Atam Lalchandani
- Dave Collins
- Bob Hall
- Robin Holman
- Warren Kocmond
- Peter Kovacs
- Atam Lalchandani
- Bob Preger
- Wayne Prim
- Jim Steinmann
- Elbridge Stuart
- Roger Wittenberg
Academic Affairs Committee Chair
- Warren Kocmond
Audit Committee Chair
- Peter Kovacs
Community Outreach Committee Chair
- Bob Preger
Development Committee Chair
- Robin Holman
Facilities & Grounds Committee Chair
- Jim Steinmann
Finance & Strategy Committee Chair
- Elbridge Stuart
Marketing Committee Chair
- Bob Hall
Long Range Strategic Planning Committee Chair
- Dave Collins
Meet the Board of Trustees
Dr. Lalchandani holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in operations research from Cornell University. Throughout his career he focused on the application of operations-research techniques to a variety of industrial and government problems and operating roles in the high-tech industry, predominantly superconductors, computer systems, and software. His role gradually increased in scope from strategic planner to chief financial/administrative officer and finally as chief executive officer of a venture-backed software company (representative companies are National Semiconductor and Oracle).
For the past 15 years, he has worked as part-time advisor, board member, and general business mentor to a number of early-stage information-technology companies. Representative companies are Juniper Networks, AtHome Corps, and Cerent & Equinix.
Mr. Prim co-founded the San Francisco law firm of Howard & Prim in 1958 and was a partner until 1983. He was also one of the original founders of Hambrecht & Quist. He has served as chairman of the board of the San Francisco Ballet and the Bob Hope Performing Arts Center (McCallum Theater) in Palm Desert, Calif. He was also a member of the board of directors of Menlo College and the Vintage Club (both in Calif.). He is active in venture capital and LBOs and remains the chief executive officer and owner of Prim & Associates.
Mr. Prim holds a bachelor of arts degree from the Naval Officer’s V-12 Program, Iowa State; a bachelor of science degree in law and accounting from the University of Washington, and a doctor of laws degree from the University of Washington.
Elbridge H. Stuart III was the Director of Alternative Assets and Research and a Principal at Coldstream Capital Management, Inc., a high net worth asset management firm with over 1 billion in assets based in Bellevue Washington. He joined the firm in 2003 and resigned in 2009 after the death of his father to run several taxable and non-taxable family enterprises. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Stuart worked for several investment firms in the areas of investment banking, outside equity research, and both institutional and high net worth portfolio management. After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University in 1970, Mr. Stuart was in the computer industry from 1970 to 1985, working in the areas of hardware, large system software design, and software product management and marketing.
Non Profit Activities (Current) – Whitman College (Walla Walla, WA) Audit Committee 2009- present and Investment Committee 1994 – 2008; Loyola Marymount University ( Los Angeles) Board of Trustees and Finance Committee 2004- present; Seattle University Endowment Committee 2009 – present; Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation Board of Directors 2011 – present, investment committee 2010 – present; Camp Korey at Carnation Farm (Carnation, WA) Board of Directors, Executive, Construction and Finance Committees 2007 – present. Camp Korey is a member of the Paul Newman Hole in the Wall Camps; Elbridge and Debra Stuart Family Foundation Founder and Trustee of the and Board; Elbridge Amos Stuart Foundation (dba Stuart Foundation of San Francisco) Vice Chairman/Treasurer and member of the investment committee 1982 – present. Mr. Stuart is also currently the owner and managing partner of Carnation Farms LLC, a non-profit entity that controls Carnation Farms.
Memberships – CFA Society of Seattle, Foundation Financial Officers Group (FFOG), Philanthropy Northwest, Northern California Grantmakers, and Seattle Yacht Club
Dr. Nazir Ansari is a retired professor of business management from the University of Nevada, Reno where he taught graduate and undergraduate classes in Strategic Management and International Business. During his professional career he has been a consultant and board member at several public companies. He has also been an advisor to federal and state governments on policy matters dealing with economic and health issues. He has a Ph.D. in Business from the University of Illinois. He and his wife Mary who is a published author of several books on Nevada history live in Incline Village where they enjoy an active outdoor life in the company of great friends.
Art Chapman has served as the President and Chairman of JMA Ventures, LLC, for 25 years and has over 30 years of professional experience in real estate management and development. San Francisco-based JMA Ventures, founded by Art in 1986, is a full service real estate investment firm; it serves as the managing partner for over $500 million in existing projects spanning hospitality, leisure, residential development, retail, office, and industrial/telecom.
In November 2011, JMA and KSL Capital Partners (a private equity firm) announced a merger that joined Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows under a single operating company. Later that same year, JMA Ventures purchased the residential property adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, from the Ritz-Carlton Development Group. The residences offer mid-mountain access to Northstar, a Vail Resorts-owned property. JMA’s portfolio also includes Homewood Mountain Ski Resort; the West Shore Café; Fairmont Heritage Place at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco; and Downtown Plaza, a six city block, 14 acre, twenty year old retail site in downtown Sacramento
Before joining JMA, Art was Vice President of Campeau Corporation California, a two billion dollar real estate development company, where he served as VP of Commercial Development and General Manager of Housing, responsible for multiple residential projects throughout California.
Prior to joining Campeau, he spent 11 years with the City of Long Beach as Executive Director of the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency and Director of Community Development.
A graduate of Notre Dame and Harvard Law , David practiced law for two years in New York city before joining the Johnson & Johnson law department. There he stayed for 16 years, the last 3 as General Counsel and member of the Board of Directors. In 1978, he moved to the management side, serving in turn as President of McNeil Pharmaceutical, Group Chairman of several Latin American subsidiaries, member of the Executive Committee, Chairman of the world-wide Consumer Sector, and Vice Chairman of the Board. While at J&J, he was a member of the small senior team of executives handling the 1982 and 1986 TYLENOL poisoning episodes, serving as the face of the company in several early TV interviews. Leaving in 1986, he spent 2 years in venture capital, and 5 years as president of the Health Care Products division of Schering Plough Corporation and member of their Operations Committee. Since retiring, he has done consulting and served on the Boards of several public and private companies.
In his private life, he has been active in the Aspen Institute seminar programs, has taught his own course on Corporate Social Responsibility at several colleges and universities, served on the boards of several non-profits including Fairleigh Dickenson University (Chairman), The Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation, and the Incline Village Community Hospital . He and his wife Judy have been residents of Incline Village for 16 years.
Jim Davis leads Smart Wire Grid as its Chief Executive Officer. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Smart Wire Grid provides innovative solutions to electric utilities around the world. They have groundbreaking power flow control technology allowing a utility to optimize its grid and meet the challenges of the modern electricity industry.
Its first-of-a-kind distributed series reactor, the PowerLine Guardian™, converts an existing transmission line into a controllable and observable Smart Wire, providing the ability to shift power away from overloaded lines or onto underutilized lines, helping to ensure the reliability and efficiency of the power grid.
Before joining Smart Wire Grid, Jim built Chevron Energy Solutions (CES) into a leading energy efficiency, power system reliability, and renewable energy services company. CES developed hundreds of sustainability projects that saved institutions and businesses more than $1 billion in energy costs, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than three million metric tons. In 2004, he was recognized as the Northern California winner of the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Previously Jim held senior executive positions with PG&E Energy Services and Duke/Louis Dreyfus, where he created and led the retail energy services businesses which offered comprehensive energy solutions to commercial, industrial, and public sector customers.
Jim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a major in marketing from The Ohio State University.
After graduating from Columbia University (BSEE) and Hamilton College (BA -Mathematics) in the joint “3-2″ Program, Chuck went on to the University of Rochester, where he received an MBA in Finance and Marketing.. He then went on to a 40+ year career with Fortune 500 manufacturing companies, with a focus on product development of consumer and industrial products.
He held positions of increasing responsibility with Litton Industries, Rockwell International Corporation, Maytag Corporation and Masco Corporation, where he retired in 2007 as Group President – Architectural Products, after having been President of Delta Faucet Company , Division of Masco, from 1988-1999. As Group President-Architectural, he was lead executive in acquiring for Masco and managing companies such as Behr Paint, Milgard Windows, Masterchem Industries Ltd., Vapor Technologies, Inc., and a number of additional consumer durable and related technology companies, domestic and foreign. The Architectural Products Group posted sales of several Billion Dollars per year and operations in North America, Europe, and Asia under his direction. Chuck has held, or continues to hold positions on the Board of Directors of six different private, multi-generational for-profit companies. He was previously a member of the SNC Board of Trustees from 2003-2010, with specialty in Finance and Administration. He has guest lectured at Anderson University, Michigan State University and University of Toledo on Leadership.
Recently widowed of his wife of 48 years, Chuck has two grown daughters and six grandchildren. You’ll see him hiking on the Tahoe Rim trail with his brown and white Dalmatian “Blaze”. Chuck has been part of the Incline Community since 2000
Vanessa Franking earned her BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Memphis in a heavily male dominated discipline.
She worked for Federal Express to pay for her college education and then continued for eleven years where she helped design and deploy the FedEx worldwide data network. She was responsible for the Eastern half of the US network. She became a private pilot during her tenure at FedEx. Her reputation for strong interpersonal and leadership skills in the networking industry and amongst industry groups during her tenure at FedEx attracted Intel Corporation to recruit her in 1994, at which time she moved to California. At Intel she worked both as a network technologist and worldwide program manager for network education in Intel’s Information Technology division. In 1996 she fulfilled a lifelong ambition by competing in and completing the 100th running of the Boston Marathon.
A person of many and varied interests, Vanessa retired from corporate life in 1997 and moved with her husband and two sons to Lake Tahoe where she supported a number of charitable causes including being elected president of the Lake Tahoe branch of the American Association of University Women and serving on the Computer Science Advisory board for Sierra Nevada College. When not enjoying life at Lake Tahoe, Vanessa spends her time pursuing an MFA in creative writing at Antioch University in Los Angeles and enjoying the Caribbean and New England coast on her sailboat which she and her husband keep in Newport, RI.
Jim Giancola is a retired Chief Executive Officer of NASDAQ and NYSE traded regional banks in the Midwest. He was also a founding partner in a National Bank Consulting firm based in Atlanta. He has been a guest lecturer at Valparaiso University, Indiana University, and Arizona University. Jim has served on advisory boards at I.U. Northwest, Concordia University, and the University of Southern Indiana. Jim has a degree in Economics from Harvard University, did graduate work at he University of Colorado and Suffolk University, and has an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from the University of Southern Indiana.
Bob Hall has been CEO of five different companies spanning the past thirty years. He is known for corporate turnaround and sales growth results in both publicly-traded and private companies, as well as mergers and acquisitions. He specializes in small to mid-market consumer goods & services entities that are utilizing technology to improve their results. Hall frequently serves on corporate boards of such corporations. Among the companies he has headed are Salomon/North America, world leader in winter sports equipment (Salomon) and golf (Taylor Made); Ride Sports (snowboards, wakeboards, apparel); Allegra (Vuarnet brand apparel and sunglasses); Pan-Optx (“7eye” performance eyewear).
Industry service includes two terms as chairman of Snowsports Industries of America (SIA), one term as chairman of American Ski Federation, and one year as executive director of Outdoor Industry Association. Hall earned his bachelor’s degree (Finance & Marketing) at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado.
Robin Holman is an active business executive with over 30 years of profit and loss responsibility, principally in corporate real estate management. As her commitment to community service, she is an experienced working director of not for profit boards. She currently volunteers as the Vice President of Development for Lake Tahoe SummerFest. Her past director experience includes Volunteers of America, Breaking Free, Beyond Your Best, Holman Family Philanthropies and Deep Roots Sanctuary, Inc.
She has entrepreneurial and executive experience in business development, commercial property, advertising and distribution. She was recognized as top Real Estate Professional and founded a successful property management company. As President and General Manager of Sandlian Management, Inc. for over a decade, she was responsible for a 500% profitable increase in assets owned and managed. Her clients have included numerous Fortune 500 Companies.
Robin holds a Masters Degree in Executive and Leadership Coaching. She has led seminars for both executives and employees to facilitate team building, improve communication and inspire executive performance. She resides in Incline Village, NV where she is active in promoting culture and the arts.
Barry M. Klein received his Ph.D. in condensed matter theory from New York University in 1969 following an undergraduate degree in Engineering Physics from NYU in 1962. From 1969-71 he held a postdoctoral appointment at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). In 1971 he became a member of the NRL staff working in condensed matter theory and in plasma physics on the theory of x-ray emission from laser-produced plasmas. In 1978 he became head of the NRL Electronic Structure of Solids Section, leading a theoretical effort in electronic structure studies of a wide range of solid systems, with particular emphasis on fundamental investigations of superconducting properties and point defects. In 1984-85 he was Program Manager for Condensed Matter Theory and Acting Section Head for Condensed Matter Sciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Returning to NRL in 1985, Dr. Klein became Branch Head for Condensed Matter Physics, supervising efforts in experimental x-ray physics, plasma spectroscopy and synchrotron radiation, in addition to theoretical condensed matter research. In 1989 Dr. Klein became Branch Head for the Complex Systems Theory Branch, leading a theoretical effort involving over 20 scientists engaged in studies of a wide range of condensed matter properties from electronic structure theory, to many body theory, to atomic physics. In 1992 Dr. Klein became Professor of Physics and Chair of the Department of Physics at the University of California, Davis. In 1998 he was appointed to the position of Vice Provost for Academic Personnel at UC Davis, a position he held for three years. On July 1, 2001 Dr. Klein was appointed Vice Chancellor for Research at UC Davis, a position he held until September 2010. He is currently Professor of Physics and Director of the McClellan Nuclear Research Center at UC Davis.
Dr. Klein is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), a Fellow and Chartered Physicist of the Institute of Physics, and he is a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He has also been Chair of the APS Division of Computational Physics. He was the recipient of a New York City Mayor’s Committee on Scholastic Achievement undergraduate scholarship, a NASA Graduate Fellowship, and a National Research Council Postdoctoral Associateship. He has received several government awards including a Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 1992. He has been a member of numerous NSF, DoD and DoE and DOE Laboratory committees including: the NSF Supercomputing Center Peer Review Committee; the High Performance Computing Advisory Board for Los Alamos and Oak Ridge National Laboratories; the Advisory Committee for Physical Sciences and Space Technology and the Director¹s Advisory Committee at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; and the Materials Science and Technology Advisory Committee at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He has been involved in developing and supporting numerous major research initiatives at UC Davis, and he has served on many committees and boards in support of UC Davis, the UC system, and the international scientific community.
Dr. Klein’s condensed matter research efforts have been in electronic structure theory and applications, studying the fundamental properties of condensed matter systems using theoretical and computational approaches. He has over 140 research publications.
Warren C. Kocmond, Chairman and CEO of BG Radia Corporation, Research Professor of Atmospheric Physics. Prof Kocmond brings extensive senior-level management experience to the SNC Board and has directed operations of companies ranging from a few scientists and engineers to several hundred professionals. With a mathematics degree from the Univ of Arizona and a masters in meteorology from Penn State University, Kocmond went on to become Head of Atmospheric Physics at Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory when he was 29.
In 1978 Kocmond was named Executive Director of Atmospheric Sciences at the Desert Research Institute and later Acting President of the Institute in 1983. While at DRI he was honored as one of a handful of scientists to have his experiments chosen for flight on board space shuttle’s Atmospheric Cloud Physics Laboratory (ACPL). In 1984 Prof Kocmond became President of Sierra Nevada Corp, a navigation and avionics firm specializing in proprietary product development. SNC is now the largest defense contractor in the state of Nevada. Currently he is Chairman and CEO of BG-Radia Corp, an award winning designer and manufacturer of high performance loudspeakers that qualify as some of the finest audio products in the world.
He is a 36 year resident of Incline Village and is married to Janet Pahl, recognized as a long time friend of Sierra Nevada College.
Peter Kovacs was born in Budapest, Hungary. In 1960 he immigrated to the United States and moved to San Diego, California.
In 1967, Kovacs joined the Kelco Company, a San Diego based specialty chemicals manufacturer and a Division of Merck & Co. Inc., as a laboratory chemist. After a series of domestic and international technical and business assignments, Kovacs was appointed President and CEO of the company in 1993. Kovacs led the sale of Kelco to Monsanto in 1994. He was subsequently chosen to join the Monsanto Operating Council and to merge the Nutrasweet Company with Kelco, forming the $800 million food ingredient firm, which then became one of the largest industrial biotechnology companies, the Nutrasweet Kelco Company. He served as President and CEO until his retirement in 1997 after 30 years of service.
Kovacs graduated from San Diego State University in 1966 with a degree in chemistry. He also attended the Stanford University and ENSIAD (Fountainbleu, France) Executive Management Programs. He is currently serving on the Boards of Trustees of the Desert Research Institute and the San Diego Natural History Museum. Kovacs is a member of the American Chemical Society and the Institute of Food Technologists. Kovacs and his wife, Marilee, reside in Incline Village, Nevada.
- BSChE, University of Texas
- MBA, Rice University
Janet began her career with Shell Oil in refinery process and environmental engineering positions, and was soon promoted to become one of youngest engineers in Shell to hold P&L and line management responsibility for a large refinery manufacturing plant in Martinez, CA.
After leaving Shell for business school, she managed several marketing teams for Compaq Computers and also served as a VP for VYVX, the acquisition arm of Wiltel. In 1989, Janet co-founded CPLEX, a software company that she helped operate for 10 years before selling to ILOG, a publicly traded French company. Janet remained with ILOG in a variety of executive positions as that company grew rapidly from under 300 employees to almost 1000 employees, including executive VP positions in marketing and M&A, before successfully negotiating and executing the sale of ILOG to IBM in 2008. Janet remained as an IBM executive for several years under a retention agreement, but since resigning in 2010 offers consulting related to marketing and M&A, with clients including IBM.
Janet and her husband of 27 years, Todd, have lived in Incline since 1991 and have raised twin daughters (currently freshmen in universities on the east coast) in Incline Village. Janet has served on multiple non-profit boards related to education and literacy, and remains a trustee at Sage Ridge School, a private 5-12 college prep school in Reno, NV.
Henry formed Heinz Global Asset Management Inc. in 2010 as a Registered Investment Advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission. From 2005 through 2010, Henry was an Independent Investment Advisor for Delta Equity where he began managing fee-based discretionary accounts. Prior to that, Henry specialized in trading equities and developing wealth management solutions at Bear Stearns and Kirlin Securities. Henry’s career began in San Francisco firms, gaining exposure to all aspects of technology specializing in financing for emerging companies.
Born in Ireland and schooled in Dublin and Paris, Henry studied Finance, graduating with honors from University College Dublin. Henry is involved with many charities and community activities including the Right To Play and the Center of Biological Diversity. Henry won the 2007 Golden Gloves Northern Californian boxing championship. A true outdoors man, Henry enjoys skiing, equestrian sports and bike riding.
Robert Preger’s career spans over 25 years in the Software Industry. After graduating with a BSEE from Carnegie Tech in 1962, Bob held a number of positions in the formative years of the Software Industry and eventually became part of the original management team at Oracle in 1980. Bob retired from a sales and marketing position shortly after Oracle’s successful IPO in 1986. As an independent investor, he has been instrumental in the development of several small companies in Northern California. Bob has supported a number of initiatives at Carnegie Mellon University, including an Architectural CAD Lab, The Intelligent Workplace Facility, and most recently, the Entertainment Technology Center. Bob’s support of the Intelligent Workplace Facility resulted in the facility being named for him.
Bob and his wife Eleanor have resided in Incline Village since 1987 and have served on the Board of SNC for over 10 years. In 2000, Bob and his wife provided the lead funding for establishing a Computer Science Major at Sierra Nevada College, and chaired the Computer Science Advisory Board at the college.
Ian Rogoff is a Co-Founder and General Partner with Sierra Nevada Partners, an investment management company designed to buy and grow sustainable businesses located in the Western US. He serves as Executive Chairman of HelioPower, an integrated energy services company, and Chairman of the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization, a non-profit public-private partnership. Ian is also an Investment Committee Director at the CalCEF Angel Fund, and serves on the Board of Directors of a number of technology companies, nonprofit organizations, and higher-educational institutions. Ian currently serves on Governor Sandoval’s Nevada Energy Industry Task Force, and previously served on the New Nevada Task Force. He is a recipient of the Sierra Vision award.
Previously, Ian was Vice President of the Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft Corp, which included responsibility for Microsoft’s global Partnerships, Services and software vendor relationships, partner strategy, marketing, programs and business development within the enterprise business segment. Before that, he was VicePresident and General Manager of Enterprise Services within the Worldwide Enterprise Group at Microsoft. His organization was responsible for the worldwide Microsoft Consulting Services function, Microsoft’s worldwide training, assessment, and certification business, management of Microsoft’s global technology partners, and partner investments. Prior to almost 10 years at Microsoft, Ian served as a District Manager for Consulting and Systems Integration at Digital Equipment Corporation, and Co-Founder and President of Optimum Software, a privately-held software and consulting firm. Ian has a functional background in engineering, consulting, software development, systems integration, business development and M&A. His industry experience includes IT, discrete manufacturing, aerospace and energy. Ian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Miami, a Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology, a Master of Liberal Arts from Stanford University, and has completed an executive management program at Dartmouth College.
- BA. in Political Science, University of Colorado-Boulder
- MSc. in Information Systems, George Washington University (GWU) Graduate School of Business.
Roland Schumann co-founded SwapDrive, Inc. in 2000 to enable businesses to backup and share their mission-critical information online using secure data centers located off-site, creating one of the first consumer Internet ‘clouds’. Mr. Schumann served as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and as a Board member, playing a key role in the development of new products and strategic plans, until the acquisition of SwapDrive by Symantec Corporation in 2008. Mr. Schumann continued to manage day-to-day operations of the cloud storage business unit as an executive at Symantec, overseeing one of the largest data storage infrastructures in the world. In the summer of 2010, Mr. Schumann left Symantec Corporation to concentrate on his investments, mentor students, and advise entrepreneurs.
Prior to SwapDrive, Mr. Schumann was a senior associate at Booz Allen Hamilton where he provided technical risk management services to the company’s clientele, and a senior project manager and information systems developer for the Advanced Technologies Group within the Thomson Corporation (i.e., Reuter’s, Westlaw, First Call, Janes’), overseeing complex technical projects for investment banking, research, and publishing firms.
Mr. Schumann attained the rank of captain as an intelligence officer and paratrooper in the US Army for 10 years before pursuing a civilian career in business.
Mr. Schumann frequently lectures to on entrepreneurship to both undergraduate and post-graduate students at leading business schools including Thunderbird School of Global Management, George Washington University, and Georgetown University. In addition, he serves as a judge for multiple university business plan competitions.
Mr. Schumann is an active member of the Angel Capital Association and the Sierra Angels, an angel investing group based in the Lake Tahoe Basin. He is a member of the Sierra Angels Selection Committee, where he screens investment opportunities and chooses companies to pitch to the broader membership. Mr. Schumann is also a mentor in GWU’s StarMBA program, a specialized MBA for individuals with strong personal brands such as professional athletes, artists and musicians. He was recognized by GWU as the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Entrepreneur Award.
He and his wife Karen reside on the north shore of Lake Tahoe in Incline Village, Nevada. They have two grown children.
Ben Solomon earned a BA in Mathematics at UC Berkeley where he lettered in gymnastics, and an MA in Mathematics from UC Davis. He received an honorary Doctorate in Education from Sierra Nevada College (SNC). His teaching career included positions at UC Davis, the University of Victoria, LA State University, and SNC. Ben’s primary subject was mathematics, but he also taught literature and alternative energy and coached gymnastics.
He was the CEO of SNC for 25 years, holding the titles of Administrative Director (1970 – 1980), President (1980 – 1993 and 2003 -2005), and Chancellor (1993 -1994). During his tenure the College grew from 23 full time students and three converted buildings to several hundred students and an energy efficient campus with five buildings, two utilizing passive solar heating and one which received an LEED “Platinum” rating.
Ben also owned and managed TranSierra Capital which was the highest ranked “fixed income” investment firm in the US from 1995 to 2003. He lives in Incline Village with his wife Margaret in a “net zero” house which incorporates devices patented by Ben. The 1,500 watt PV system produces enough surplus electricity to power their converted plug-in Prius.
Jim was raised in rural Wisconsin farm country and graduated from Purdue University with degrees in Engineering and Industrial Management in 1967. He was a resident of Beverly Hills, California for 22 years, and relocated to the Brockway area on the North Shore of lake Tahoe with wife, Jan in 1990.
Jim was employed by North American Aviation and Computer Science Corporation to plan and develop facilities for the military and space program systems including B-1, F-111, and Apollo and seven data centers around the world prior to starting his Facility Planning and Development Consulting firm in 1973. Recent projects include convention centers, public libraries, the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, projects in Germany, courts in Kuwait, and buildings for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Military Intelligence Agencies, and a number of state and local government/office buildings.
Jim guided the design and construction of the Prim Library and The Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences. He is now semi-retired with projects in San Diego and occasionally overseas. Jim and Jan enjoy skiing, the social life of the North Shore, and travel extensively.
Dr. Stephen G. Wells has been President of the Desert Research Institute (DRI) of the Nevada System of Higher Education for the past thirteen years, administering one of the world’s largest multidisciplinary environmental research organizations with approximately 500 scientists, technologists, students, and other support staff. Dr. Wells oversees two state-of-the-art facilities in Las Vegas and Reno, as well as satellite research facilities in Boulder City and Stead, Nevada, and Steamboat Springs, Colorado. DRI consists of three core divisions and four interdisciplinary science centers that serve the State of Nevada and every continent in the world.
Dr. Wells is also a graduate faculty member in the Hydrologic Sciences Program and Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno, and Visiting Professor at the Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xian, China. Dr. Wells has served as President of the Geological Society of America, the largest professional society within the geosciences in North America In addition, he is on the Board of Advisors of Biosphere 2, as well as a board member on two economic development agencies and a research park in Nevada, and a former board member of UNESCO/IUGS International Year of the Planet Earth. Dr. Wells has served on numerous professional editorial boards in the earth sciences and published more than 70 referred journal articles and edited volumes.
During his career, Dr. Wells has been an executive director (university dean equivalent) of a science division at DRI, and a faculty member and administrator at the University of New Mexico and University of California-Riverside. He has held joint appointments at U.S. Air Force Office of Research, U.S. Geological Survey, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and The University of Liverpool in England. Dr. Wells is the recipient of three national awards for research excellence in earth surface processes and history from the Geological Society of America, including the Kirk Bryan Award for best scientific paper and the Farouk El-Baz award for desert research.
Dr. Wells has a B.S. (Geology) from Indiana University as well as a M.S. and Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Cincinnati. In 2007, Dr. Wells received distinguished alumni awards from the Department of Geology at Indiana University and from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati. He serves as President of the Board of Directors for Gathering Genius, a non-profit organization founded in 2006 to increase student interest, excellence, competitiveness, and participation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields in the State of Nevada.
Roger Wittenberg’s background as a scientist, entrepreneur, and inventor has led him to found several companies that focus on recycling materials into reusable products. His most successful venture, the Trex Company, has turned billions of pounds of recycled and reclaimed plastic, including 1.3 billion grocery retail bags and waste wood each year, into alternative wood products. After retiring from Trex, Wittenberg founded International Supply Consortium LLC, which takes on projects that use innovative building technologies and real estate projects that utilize these same sustainable materials.
Wittenberg’s passions for recycling, green technology, and innovation are now being applied to projects in his own backyard, North Lake Tahoe. As a Foundation board member of Sierra Nevada College, Wittenberg helped move the campus’s Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences to a Platinum LEED status through the use of Trex products and other innovative green strategies. And, his passion for sustainability now drives the mission of a local Crystal Bay project: Boulder Bay Resort, through which he aims to create a new model for the resort/community experience that embraces innovative green technologies and provides a sense of place for visitors and locals. Roger lives with his wife Beatrice in Incline Village, with his extended family nearby.
Stuart Yount is the owner and CEO of Fortifiber Corporation, the family business he joined in 1969 that manufacturers building materials, founded in 1939 by his father and now headed day to day by his son. This leaves Stuart more time to devote to family, non-profit boards and travels with his wife of 41 years, Geri. His education includes seven colleges and universities, ending with the Harvard Graduate School of Business.
He and Geri moved from Southern California to reside full time in Crystal Bay in early 1996. They have two children and three grandchildren. He has served on numerous non-profit and company boards through the years as well as being President Bush’s representative on the Tahoe Regional Planning Governing Board for over 6 years. He joined the SNC Board of Trustee’s in 1999 and has served in several positions through the years, including Vice Chairman.